Quote: Sony Pictures CEO on the value of the internet

"I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet," said Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton. "Period." – Woman's Wear Daily
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55 Responses to Quote: Sony Pictures CEO on the value of the internet

  1. Jerry says:

    It’s probably time to dump that Sony stock you’ve been holding.

  2. pelrun says:

    Yeah? Well I haven’t seen anything good come from the music or movie industries either.

  3. CapnMarrrrk says:

    Clearly this is a man with enough money to pay for his porn.

  4. Stuart says:

    In his defence: 4chan.

  5. Violet says:

    Obviously this man has never read BB,never made some good friends online,never participated in a stimulating ten way conversation thread that challenged his perceptions and exposed him to new ideas and to top it all off he must know everything about everything and have been everywhere and done everything as the whole world and its complexities colour and beauty that is now so readily accessible
    in so many ways online is in his opinion “Nothing good”

    I weep for this man.


  6. Chris Tucker says:

    Michael Lynton is going to get a nicely typed fan letter from Harlan Ellison!

  7. SeppTB says:

    You have to give them credit, Sony tries hard to constantly prove its increasing irrelevance.

  8. anonymous says:

    Obviously this man has never seen a lolcat in his entire life.

  9. Felix Mitchell says:

    Some people just take being Rickrolled really badly.

  10. slywy says:

    So all those happy marriages and relationships between people who otherwise wouldn’t have met aren’t good? They’d be surprised to hear that.

    And that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    #2, some people find being exposed to new ideas that challenge frightening. I think Mr. Sony may be one of ‘em.

  11. Lord Humongous says:

    I guess he doesn’t like freely available porn.

  12. Anthony says:

    I guess he doesn’t use email then?

  13. TimJFowler says:

    Nothing inspires my confidence in a company like a forward-thinking CEO.

  14. Anonymous says:

    He should convince Sony Computer Entertainment to get rid of the Playstation3’s internet connection so Folding@home can be rendered useless.

  15. Phikus says:

    That quote is going to line up nicely next to:

    “Novelty is always welcome, but talking pictures are just a fad.” – Irving Thalberg, head of MGM

    “Forget video, it will be gone in 6 months!” – Daryl F. Zanuck

    “Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Cark Gable who’s falling flat on his face and not Gary Cooper.” – Gary Cooper

    “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner U.S. Patent Office 1899

    “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

    “I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” – The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

    “But what … is it good for?” – Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

    “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

    “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876.

    “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

    “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” – A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

    “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

    “A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” – Response to Debbi Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

    “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

    “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

    “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

    “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

    “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” – Bill Gates, 1981

    And my personal fave:

    “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'” – Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

  16. kaosmonkey says:

    Play him off, keyboard cat. Play him off.

  17. mama_faelynn says:

    While there are many many examples of the wonderful things available on the internet, I have very personal relationships because of the internet that I would, at minimum classify as “good”. My husband and I have been together 10 years, we met on AIM. Our 5 year old son is the joy of our lives and impresses people everywhere because of his outgoing happy nature. Our daughter in heaven wouldn’t have had her brief life in my womb without the internet either.

  18. pete_darby says:

    Really? REALLY?

    Let’s see Sony Pictures function with their internet access removed for one day then.

  19. elix says:

    I bet you all $5 that this guy has an e-mail address, but his secretary prints off his e-mail and puts it on his desk. Then she transcribes his response from his written notes (or by dictation, I guess).

  20. Thomas says:


    He’s been running AOL in the past. Supposing he changed careers.

  21. Man On Pink Corner says:

    If the answer to your question involves giving money to Sony, then you asked the wrong question.

    Remember the rootkit, kids.

  22. Man On Pink Corner says:

    If the answer to your question involves giving money to Sony, then you asked the wrong question.

    Remember the rootkit, kids.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What’s really sad is that this clown doesn’t realise that most of the work that gets done, most of the communication, most of the business, most of the day-to-day workings of Sony, most of his travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, limousine, hair cut appointments, ad infinitum are accomplished WITH COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET and he’s so completely isolated from the real world. That’s why they make the bonehead decisions they do. The privileged few at the top of the food chain have no clue as to how they got there.

  24. Snig says:

    Nice list.

  25. wizardofplum says:

    #11 PHIKUS A veritable cornucopia of inane predictions Caloo Callay!Here’s one more for your ana “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter” Lewis Strauss [1896-1974]speech on Atomic Energy 3/16/54

  26. Rustle-T says:

    Another ridiculous thing about the internet and how no good it is:
    The unpaid marketing that results from chatter on message boards and blogs. I can’t estimate how often reading about a movie or album prompts me to pay for a physical copy or a ticket. Word of mouth is the most sincere way to spread word of something as opposed to ads on the sides of buses or radio commercials.

    Thanks to the internet, we now know how big of luddite Michael Lynton is. Oh well. His circa-1994 opinion belongs in a museum.

  27. jimh says:

    Bitter CEO is bitter.

  28. Doomulosity says:

    If I may hazard a guess, I’m going to assume that “Anything Good”, in Sony Executive speak, means “Anything that allows me to increase my amoral stranglehold on your cash dollars.”

  29. Chorske says:

    And I hope that business model works for him.

  30. takeshi says:

    Nothing good comes from the Internet, except for all the inexcusably terrible movies I steal from Sony Pictures.

    Somebody abort this guy, quick.

  31. Ben says:

    Welcome to the new economy, Mike.

  32. Kappamaki says:

    This must be really depressing to hear for the poor folks producing online content for Sony. Hasn’t he seen Angel of Death? Or Starving? Produced by his own f’ing company? Way to promote your own product…

  33. dculberson says:

    There’s dumb and there’s dumb, then there’s Michael Lynton.

  34. rootboy says:

    He’s saying “the Internet was bad for my business model”, which is sort of true. To which the correct reply is “sucks to be you.”

  35. Brother Provisional says:

    There really seems to be quite the generational rift opening up. First George F. Will was going off on people who wear blue jeans, then I heard the gentlemen from Devo whining about how computers are ruining music, and now the CEO of a major entertainment company has outed himself as a crotchety old man.

    Angry old people of the world, be cool and let the future happen! Don’t push us. We’re not above getting all Logan’s Run on your a$$. Have you ever tangled with a Sandman? Its not pleasant.

  36. alexpeterson says:

    This is a crazy awesome way to read really fast. I never knew this was…. humanely possible :P. Thanks for sharing. This stuff really does work. I can’t read it as fast as you can probably, but i’m learning.

    journalism degree AND Information Technology degree

  37. alexpeterson says:

    Doraemon’s kind, endearing, and forward-thinking qualities led him to become Japan’s first official Anime Ambassador to the world last March.
    Master Degree

  38. jimh says:

    Wooo Carousel! Wait, I’m already 42, never mind.

  39. alexpeterson says:

    it all comes true. Nobita then finds out that Doraemon has come to the present (i.e. the 70s), along with Nobita’s future grandson, to help make his life — destined to be full of misery, mishaps, and disaster — just a little bit easier to handle.
    online associate Degree AND online business school

  40. JL Bryan says:

    Wow. Maybe 15 years ago this could have passed as a forgivably stupid comment, but…just wow.

  41. mwschmeer says:

    Hasty generalizations are a logical fallacy, Mr. Lynton.

  42. Felix Mitchell says:

    #29 Don’t excuse him. In what context could you interpret he meant that?

    Even if, some how, he is talking about his business only, it’s still dumb. If SONY haven’t profited in some way from the internet they’re doing something really wrong.

  43. JL Bryan says:

    “Nothing good comes from trusting everything you read on the internet. Period.”

    I distrust that statement.

  44. duane says:

    Well fine then. If he won’t use my internet, then I will no longer use my Sony Betamax Video Cassette Player.

  45. Roy Trumbull says:

    My introduction to Sony-think was years ago when we installed a Betacart at a TV station. They’d made no provision for importing a “traffic” schedule to the machine or for importing a record list to the barcode printer. We had to find a local vendor for each piece of software. Sony saw nothing wrong with entering everything by hand.
    At the same time they were exacting the Sony premium for consumer goods. When the competition got stiff they were and are hung out to dry.

  46. hbl says:

    I assume he’s not heard of filesharing? He should look into it, cos it’ll solve all his distribution requirements. Anyrate, who has time to fileshare with all the other cool stuff on teh internets?

    Also to Phikus: in Slash’s autobiog, he recalls one of the first record company execs to turn down GnR said pointedly to Slash, “Your solos are just noise.”

  47. The Raven says:

    I think it bespeaks a man who has a personal secretary who sends his emails.


  48. Nori says:

    Wow. People really don’t take the time to find out the truth about a statement before they make their assumptions. You may want to read his quote in its full context before making a final judgement. Read this, then decide for yourself. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003643.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2562

    My quote? Nothing good comes from trusting everything you read on the internet. Period.

  49. Anon says:

    Read the link. It was said in jest people! Not that I agree with the viewpoints from the media industry representatives on the panel, but the statement quoted here is out of context!

  50. jamestgraham says:

    This is taken out of context. It was said in jest. Personally, I don’t agree with many of these media dinosaur’s views, but to believe that the CEO of Sony believes nothing good has come from the internet is naive.

  51. adamrice says:

    #38. I don’t think so. From the article: “Lynton wasn’t just trying for a laugh”

    I think there’s something apt about this remark being reported through Women’s Wear Daily, of all places. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, it’s just not the first place I think of for coverage of new media.

  52. AnnWhatever says:

    I work for this studio. I make websites for this studio. This guy is my boss’ boss’ boss. If the people we work for don’t believe in our work, then why hire us?

  53. Um... says:

    #11: The 640K quote was not said by Bill Gates.

  54. tboy says:

    Of course than he has to open his fat lips once more and dig himself in a deeper hole:


  55. gollux says:

    Sad man with no vision.

    Maybe he’s worried that my renewed interest in electronics experimentation, microprocessors and programming driven through the contacts I have via the internet will eat his “too big to fail, too big to succeed” multinational corporation.

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